17. October 2019

G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group on transparency and accountability in asset return

Oscar Solorzano and others at the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group side event.

What are best practices to promote transparency and accountability in the return of stolen assets?

This was the focus of a side event of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group on 9 October 2019 at the OECD headquarters in Paris. The event gathered authorities and experts from the G20 countries plus international organisations including the World Bank and United Nations.

Oscar Solórzano, Manager of the Basel Institute’s regional office in Peru and Director of the Public Finance Management strengthening programme, was among those encouraging innovation to better manage the return of confiscated assets to their rightful countries.

The goal is to promote close collaboration between all governmental and non-governmental actors. Why? Because the process of asset return is legally and politically extremely complex, and only trust and proactivity will enable states to overcome the challenges.

Building on international standards

The international legal framework established by the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the GFAR Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Principles for Disposition and Transfer of Confiscated Stolen Assets in Corruption Cases provide a minimum legal and conceptual framework. To flesh this out, he emphasised, we need specific agreements that meet the interests and aspirations of both the States involved – the one disposing of the assets and the one requesting and receiving them.

Oscar Solórzano stated: "Since 2017, the Government of Switzerland and Peru have initiated a fruitful and constructive dialogue to achieve the effective return of confiscated assets. Peru’s legal framework satisfies all requirements to properly manage assets and meet expectations.

Walter Reithebuch of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation participated in the event, accompanied by a diplomatic delegation from Switzerland. In the debate, Reithebuch commented on Switzerland's leadership in the return of stolen assets and presented the main challenges and lessons learned on transparency and accountability in asset return.

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